“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”
Henry VI, Part 2. Act 4, Scene 2.
This quote from Shakespeare is often misinterpreted. Tonight, I am adopting the more popular, more literal and incorrect meaning of this line.
After not being able to arrange a trip for The Kid to come up during The Old Man’s funeral this past February, I decided to retain another attorney to get certain aspects of my divorce decree more clearly defined. Around that same time, I began talks with Jabba to make arrangements for summer visitation. (I knew with The New Guy being born in July, she would have dragged her knuckles through the process, so locking down a firm schedule for summer visitation was paramount). She expressed reservations about The Kid flying alone – both for The Old Man’s funeral and for summer visitation. In fact, Jabba’s reluctance to allow The Kid to fly up for the funeral resulted in him missing it altogether. She wanted me to pay to fly/drive her up with The Kid. I refused. I told her that I would never again foot such a bill for her.
At the time of The Kid’s birthday, we could not agree on a time for him to come visit me for the summer. Jabba argued that his summertime activities were more important than seeing me. At that point, I retained an attorney with the hopes of possibly seeking mediation.
Six months have passed and I have yet to see The Kid. Jabba and I haven’t verbally spoken to each other since my father’s funeral. And my lawyer has done nothing.
To say that I am livid is a gross understatement.
I need to fire this guy, I know that. I need to retain another lawyer, I know that. I have to get this stuff with visitation – and dealing with Jabba – locked down once and for all.
I have to see my son.
After my actual divorce phoning in my case, then dying; and my second lawyer basically playing dead, I am shell-shocked at the thought of putting my faith in another lawyer again. At the same time, things CANNOT continue the way they are.
I wish the law was different. I wish I could retain a lawyer here in Michigan. I’d settle for a lawyer down South just taking my case seriously.
Wow! It has been way too long since I’ve last written!
A lot has been going on and I haven;t really allowed myself a chance to come up for air; and when I’ve had down-time, I’ve chosen to do nothing with it.
About 3 weeks ago, I flew The Kid up to Michigan to spend a week with me. Yes, I was entitled to a whole month with him but with me starting a new job recently, I didn’t think any more time off wold have been very realistic. It was some time well-spent between The Kid and I. He had a meltdown when he and I were visiting with the Auteur, and it became a turning point. It led to Jabba and I having probably the best, longest, most honest discussion since our separation.
We made plans to conduct Facetime discussions among the fours of us: Me, The Auteur, the Kid and Jabba. So far, we’ve done only one so I am skeptical about the prospect of doing more.
This past Tuesday I learned that the state has re-certified me to teach in Michigan! I knew it was coming, but it was still a great feeling. It has been a long time coming. Not just for the time that I’ve been back in Michigan, but even for the few years that I bounced around from job-to-job in South Carolina. I feel vindicated, but it’s going to seem pretty hollow if I don’t land a teaching job soon.
As for the present, this weekend is the 48 hour film festival. This year, The Auteur decided to head up her own team and asked me to help write. I was very flattered that she asked me to be a part of it and I think that the others writers and I came up with a pretty cool script, if I may say so myself. I’m dying to see how the story evolves through the creative process: Me and two other writers wrote. As director, the Auteur has he own take on how she reads the script and what she wants to see on the screen. In turn, her director of photography is the person who actually films the movie. Finally, there’s the actors themselves who are the physical manifestations of the characters we’ve put to the page. and i cannot forget the post-production crew, who takes the pieces we’ve all built and puts together a movie from them. It’s all very fascinating and all very new to me. No doubt I will have more to say about it in the days ahead.
Clearly this is a lot to be glossing over. I’m sure that I will be going into more detail in the entries that will follow…
This is the first of rather unusual two-part entry…
With some prodding from my mom, I called Jabba today to inform her that I won’t be picking up The Kid for Thanksgiving. I have been avoiding this conversation and I definitely didn’t want to do it this weekend, as I knew I’d be home alone with The Auteur shooting a movie this weekend. It went surprisingly well; as it was both the longest and most civilized conversation we have had since before I left South Carolina.
Now bear in mind that I’m taking all of the information that follows with a grain of salt, as I am absolutely convinced that Jabba is a sociopath.
- I told her about Thanksgiving, expecting her to go bat-shit crazy. Not only was she okay with it, but she even suggested that The Kid spends his entire Christmas break with me. She said that it was important in that Christmas is the only time The Kid gets to see my extended family. This was an interesting curve ball.
- She still claims that her lawyer has sent the divorce papers on to my lawyer, and that he is apparently holding up the entire process. This may or may not be true. I have expressed some frustrations with the speed at which Greenie has handled things thus far. My question remains: what would he possibly have to gain from dragging things out?
- Furthermore, Jabba claims that her lawyer has been in contact with the judge in regards to our divorce proceedings – and yet, there has been no movement.
- Jabba claims that the insurance company stopped coverage on me effective July 1, 2013 (which they did) but that she is still seeing the deductions on her paycheck – even though i’m not longer covered, mind you – because we are not yet divorced.
- She knows about The Auteur and 1B,
- She speculated, admittedly, that The Kid feels that I love The Auteur and 1B more than him and I have “replaced him” with them. He had definitely, in the past at least, felt this way in the past as he and I have had discussions about it.
- She seemed almost apologetic about “playing hardball” with me, i.e: using visitation with The Kid as a negotiating tactic. I warned her that should she continue to do that, I will go through the lawyers to stop it.
- I told her that if I find out she’s bullshitting me about any of this, I will be upset.
- I informed her that she needs her to inform me when she and The Kid leave South Carolina and that I would put that into our settlement should she fail to cooperate with me.
All in all it was an intense, yet civil, conversation. Could this be the start of the next step in my relationship with Jabba? I’m very skeptical about it ; but the conversation was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. I find myself emotionally drained in the aftermath of it. A LOT of things were said by both of us. Things that we’ve both needed to get off of our chests for a while.
I don’t want to be hostile with her. I really don’t. The two of us have to find a way get along well enough to co-parent The Kid. That’s all I want out of all of this. We may have finally taken a big step toward that finally happening.
A year and a day ago today…
My brother and The Old Man made the trip to South Carolina to help me move out of my then-home, leaving the STBX and The Boy in the process. I hope never in my life to have to do anything that emotionally draining again. Saying goodbye to The Boy was, BY FAR, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. I am so grateful that he has taken everything the last year has thrown at him as well as he has. He is an absolute soldier and he makes me beam with pride.
Back then I was still in the “hurt” mode. It would be another 3 weeks or so before I became full-on angry with the STBX. Today, I don’t know that I’m even angry at her anymore. As I said in a previous blog, her continued existence annoys the shit out of me though.
It was hotter than hell on that trip back to MI. 104 in Columbia and like the traffic on Sunday, it was a mess. I also remember that literally one-half of the state of W. Virginia had lost power. It got a little scary that night as gas stations were hit and miss. Thankfully, we had no problems.
I also recall coming home and drinking beer, lots of it. Beer was my coping mechanism. I remember going to my cousin’s house (whom I shall code name “John Ryan”) for hid annual July 4th get-together, sitting down, and drinking one beer after another – basically until I couldn’t drink anymore. As of now, I’ve been sober for 24 days and have no plans on hitting the sauce again.
Has it REALLY been a year already?
Back to the present…
UPDATE: Wednesday, July 3 5:43 PM.
I took The Boy home on Sunday. Saying goodbye was much easier this time. He was pretty stoked to be home, see his pets and his mom. As we said goodbye, he told “Now, don’t you cry Dad”. I couldn’t help but bust out laughing. I’ve always known that he would eventually take these goodbyes easier than I would; perhaps he’s already there.
On my way back into town, I spent Monday night at The Auteur’s house. It was so good to see her and we seriously needed time together. Since then, we’ve both said that we feel better about the state of our relationship. Later the next day, I get a Facebook message from her saying that 1B knows that we are sleeping together. What does one say to that? Especially when it’s being brought up by their kid???
- Amsterdam Pays Alcoholics Five Cans Of Beer A Day To Sweep Streets (albanytribune.com)
- How I learned to like beer (craftylaurie.wordpress.com)
The Boy and I arrive tonight at our hotel in Summerville. I decided to call the STBX to arrange “the exchange” for tomorrow. When I ask what time she wants to get The Boy, she tells me that she’s in Charlotte (a three hour drive from my current location) and their hotel checkout time isn’t until noon.
Now, I probably should not have had to remind her, but I went ahead and explained to the STBX that I had a 6 hour drive back to West Virginia for tomorrow – alone, mind you – that I am still facing; regardless of what time I drop off The Boy. As much as we may hate each other and as much the STBX’s continued existence irritates the shit out of me, the two of us have got to find a way to work together at this whole co-parent thing. Not just for drop-offs and visitation, but for his education, teaching him right and wrong – everything.
- It just sucks…. (brokenchristianheart.wordpress.com)
I get a call from my attorney Thursday afternoon. Not one of the paralegals, mind you, but the actual lawyer. I’ve been calling his office for the last 2 weeks trying to get my summer visitation with The Boy to get put on the proverbial front-burner, since his last day of school was TODAY.
Anyway, he calls to tell me that the STBX’s team refuses to budge on only allowing me 4 weeks over the summer with The Boy (I wanted 6 weeks during the summer). he goes on to explain to me that he had spoken not only with other lawyers, but also some judges who all seemed to think that no judge would give me 6 wee ks and any attempts to pursue it would be, in his words, “throwing good money after bad money”. Seriously, why the hell did I even hire this guy? This first battle was the only one I even gave a fuck about. I could have saved a hell of a lot of money and just allowed the STBX’s attorney to fuck me in the ass this badly without any legal representation of my own.
I spoke with the Old Man Friday and we laid out a game plan for getting down to Charleston and getting The Boy. I still haven’t spoke with the STBX, but I did e-mail her about my intentions this afternoon.
UPDATE: Saturday June 1 8:57 PM
I got an e-mail from the STBX last night. Now she’s apparently saying she wants The Boy back in South Carolina on June 30th. Once again, I’m feeling like Lando Calrissian in that “this deal keeps getting worse all the time”. Shortly thereafter, I spoke with The Auteur and told her what was going on. she was totally sympathetic to Team Rob, of course; but then she proceeds to “uninvite” to the local Emmy awards show in which she was nominated for a student Emmy. I understand what she was trying to do – relieve me of the guilt of telling her that I can’t afford the ticket to the show, but her timing could not have been worse.
The Old Man and I reconvened today (Saturday) and decided to leave on Wednesday after my dental appointment. This most likely means that i wont be able to see The Auteur on her birthday (this Friday) but she already made plans to go to a concert that night anyway, so I already felt like I was playing second-fiddle anyway. She’s disappointed, and rightfully so, but I too was disappointed when I couldn’t see her on my birthday. It sucks, but we’ll both live.
I need to find a new way to cope with my impending divorce. I feel like i’m getting butt-surfed by the STBX and both of our attorneys and I’m not handling it well at all. The Auteur really called me out on it today, saying that I lay into her too much about it. In a lot of ways, I think I do. She puts up with me talking about it far more than she should have to.
As I type this, I am sitting at the gate waiting for my flight to Detroit to pull in. I’ve spent the last 6 days in Myrtle Beach, four of which I spend with My Son. As usual, he was giddy to see me; so excited he was running a-mile-a-minute. Just like at Christmas, we spent most of our time just hanging out, shopping and watching TV. We made it to the beach a few times, played a game of miniautre golf at the aptly named Jurassic Golf. And of course, we also built some Lego sets. I did however manage to take him to see Jurassic Park 3D, which I thought was as good as a post-production 3D conversion of a 20 year old film could expect to be. JP is just plain fun, and it was an extra special treat to see it on the big screen with my Son.
The weather sucked by Myrtle Beach standards, but it was still better than this still-born spring we’re currently slumming through in the D. The hotel was pretty nice, with a full kitchen and an absolutely spectacular balcony overlooking the ocean.
Saturday night, the Boy wasn’t feeling good. After conferring with the STBX, we suspected he had pink eye. I ended up accompanying the two of them to urgent care on Sunday. The Boy asked me to go and he was kind of freaking out about it, so I agreed. the doctor’s confirmed it was pink eye; so he got an extra 2 days of vacation from school.
Sitting in that waiting was, literally, the longest time I’ve spent with the STBX since before I left South Carolina. While I was concerned about the Boy, it felt to awkward being there with her also in the room. The sensation was a stark reminder that that particular part of my life is over. I wasn’t sad or anything; I just wanted to get out of there.
Leaving wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. The Boy and I both cried at the drop-off which almost made the trip to urgent care a blessing in disguise. Our final goodbye was at UC, but neither he nor I cried then. We basically got all the crying out of the way at McDonald’s
I’ve been told that these drop-offs and goodbyes get easier with time. This was only our second one and it did seem easier; but there was more going on here. I was excited to get back to Michigan and the life that I have here now. Doubtless, the prospect of seeing The Auteur again had a lot to do with it. Even beyond The Auteur, I am happier now than I’ve been in a LONG time.
- Things to Do in Myrtle Beach, SC (familytravel.answers.com)
- Making the Most of Your Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Coupons (coupons.answers.com)
- Haley touts I-73 project as way to generate jobs (thestate.com)
En route up North with my son to spend some quality together before everyone goes back to school.
He was psyched to get on the road when we woke up Friday morning. As we pulled into the hotel tonight, he had a meltdown; saying he wanted to go home to be with his mom.
The fact that he was tired certainly played a big part of said meltdown. He is 5 after all and I’m sure he’s very confused by our separation. God knows I am.
Still, he hasn’t seen her in 12 hours and he’s freaking out. He hasn’t seen me in a month; and while he was ecstatic 3 days ago, it’s like I’m old news. I’m trying to keep in mind the five year old state of mind, but it’s still hard.
Yesterday, I finalized my plans to make a trip to my old stomping grounds. I have a few things at the house I’m going to pick up; but best of all, I’ll be bringing my son up North to spend a week with me before he starts kindergarten in 3 weeks.
ONE MORE THING: I didn’t mention in my first post, but I’ve been walking almost everyday since I’ve been back home. Now I just need to start watching what I eat.